Architects Proposal to Send Autonomous Robot Spiders to Mars to Create Habitats in Basalt Caves
The Mars Colonisation project by ZA Architects suggests that humans could colonise the red planet by living in underground dwellings dug out of the planet’s bedrock by an advance party of solar-powered machines. “Curiosity sooner or later will bring human to Mars and wouldn’t it be nice to have permanent station to explore it?” said Arina Ageeva of ZA Architects.
"It seems pretty logical to use caves as the main protective structure of the colony." Robots would be flown to Mars to carve out large voids in the basalt bedrock, choosing areas where the rock has formed into distinctive hexagonal columns, which can be removed to create cathedral-like interior spaces. The distinctive, tightly packed stone hexagonal columns, which are also found on earth, are formed where basaltic lava has cooled rapidly. The robots would then weave web-like structures from basalt fibres to create floors within the caves.
Basalt fibres, made by extruding molten basalt, are cheaper and more versatile then carbon fibres, and could replace traditional construction materials on Mars, according to Ageeva. “We can weave minimal surfaces that will be used as floors on different levels in the cave,” she told Dezeen. “This material is already in use in the aerospace and automotive industries. It is stronger and lighter than steel, easier to operate, fireproof and it does not corrode,” she added.
(via Mars Colonisation by ZA Architects)